Adobe Illustrator Photo Options

There seem to be a lot of black and white, or sepia options when it comes to changing up the average color photo.  But do you ever feel like doing something wild and crazy and out of the norm?

Over the last week I’ve been playing with Adobe Illustrator.  As you can see from the last statement I’m not a pro or anything like unto, but I did find a few tools to change up the average, everyday photo.  I’m sure there are lots of other more technical resources out there, but I thought I’d share the snippets of fun I’ve been having with this program.

To start, here is an original, straight from the camera shot I took of my daughter one evening this summer.

Princess-basic photo

Importing it into Adobe Illustrator then allowed me to do some fun artistic variations on it.

Never heard of  Adobe Illustrator before?  Well it’s part of the Adobe Creative Suite software.  The most current version is Suite 5, which can be bought for tons of money.  I have Adobe Creative Suite 3, which is several years old now but still does what I need it to do.

The fun thing about Adobe Illustrator is that at a click of a button I can do a poster edge variation on the picture, making it look like some investing commercials from a few months back.

Princess- poster edges

All I had to do was click on Effect in the menu at the top of the program screen, scroll down to Artistic, then select Poster Edge in the side menu that pops up.  (I always do better with pictures so here’s what you should see, at least in Suite 3’s version.)

Adobe Illustrator effects screen shot

As you can see there are 14 other options ready to customize at the click of a button.  After clicking on the artistic effect of choice, the picture appears in another window.  This new window shows what the picture will look like with the chosen effect and it gives options to modify it.  Below is a portion of the window that popped up when I selected Fresco then in the drop down box below the Cancel button I selected Paint Daubs.

AI artistic selection window

On the right side adjustments can be made for the Brush Size, Sharpness, and Brush Type.  By changing these settings I can adjust the look of the “painting.”

Here is a more realistic version using the Fresco and Paint Daubs artistic effect.  I adjusted it to have only a slight impressionistic effect.

Princess- paint daubs

Plastic Wrap is one of the stranger effects, giving the photo a molded in plastic look.  I find it a little creepy on a photo of my daughter.  It makes me think of  Han Solo in deep freeze hibernation, but I’ll show it to you anyway.

Princess- plastic wrap

I like the look of Film Grain a little better.  It has a softening effect similar to some actions in PhotoShop, but more grainy like old film.  Go figure!

Princess- film grain

Of course if black and white is how I feel there are fun options like Chalk and Charcoal too.  The detail can again be adjusted in the effect selection window.

Princess chalk and charcoal

The one hangup to actually using photos from Adobe Illustrator from Suite 3 is I can’t save them as a JPEG directly in Ai.  Instead I have to save them as an (.ai) file then open them in PhotoShop and save them as a JPEG there.  Perhaps this isn’t a problem in the latest version, but if it is, I’d like to suggest Adobe make it possible to save files in Adobe Illustrator as JPEGs.  In case someone knows how to do this, let me know.  I’ll blow you kisses from here.

Happy January!


1 Comment

  • Love the old film effect and the “chuck” effect. But that is a great picture right out of the camera. You and Cath really have a talent for photography. Grandpa A would be proud!